Healthy Hero: Dominick Thompson

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photos by JP Bevins

Dominick Thompson is a real New Yorker. He works a demanding day job, started his own business on the side, and still finds the time to stay healthy and vegan while training hard for triathlons. LÄRABAR, famous for their simple, real ingredients that you can actually recognize, asked The Discerning Brute to spend a day with Dominick and get to know the insights, secrets and strengths of this healthy hero. We chased him around on foot, on wheels, under weights and in the kitchen and even caught him sharing his favorite Cashew Cookie bar with a squirrel friend.

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Joshua Katcher: People who live in NYC are notorious for having the busiest schedules. What does your typical day look like and how do you make time to work out and eat well?
Dominick Thompson: I work 10-12 hours a day Monday-Friday. That doesn’t include any special projects I’m managing that may involve late night hours or weekends as well. However, I do create time for training and even competing in races as they are important to me and my health. There is simply no excuses to not be healthy and train efficiently in this day and age. My typical work day includes me rolling out of bed to train from 5am to 7am. That gives me plenty time to shower and head into the office. I spend my lunch hours training as well whether its at the gym or going outside for a run through the busy streets of Manhattan. By the time I leave my office in the evenings, I have one thing on my mind, and that is to go hard in my third training session for the day which usually lasts 2 hours after work.

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JK: You’re in amazing shape. What’s your motivation for staying fit?
DT: The physical and mental feeling one experiences when they are at their peak level of fitness is something that is just as addicting as life itself, and life itself is truly my motivation.

JK: What’s your workout regimen like, and are you currently training for any competitions?
DT: I’m currently training to compete in my next Ironman, with hopes of qualifying for the Ironman Championship held in Hawaii. I currently log over 120 hours of training per month.

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JK: Who are some of your heroes? How have you inspired others to get healthy?
DT: With respect to physical health and athletic achievements, I didn’t have any real life heroes growing up. The only hero in my life in terms of athletic achievements was the person I used to stare at in the mirror everyday before and after football practice. To understand this, you would have to understand my past. To be brief, all I saw growing up were individuals just trying to survive the day to day struggles of life and poverty. The last thing on their minds was being healthy. Not having any male role models drove me to teach myself how to play football and to get involved in other team sports on my own. It also taught me how to think very critically and grow up fast. Without going too deep, let’s just say that I used the negative things and experiences I saw growing up as inspiration to do my best and to be the opposite of what I was used to, both on and off the field. Now in my adult life, I have inspired others by showing them they can thrive and still perform in athletics at a high level all on a vegan diet.

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Cashew Cookie

JK: Do you make time for fun?
DT: I do make time for fun, but I also consider competing in endurance sports such as triathlons and marathons as fun. I love them!

JK: Let’s talk food. What’s a great pre-workout meal, post workout meal, and snacks for in-between?
DT: I like things simple and healthy. I juice and consume a variety of berries for pre-workout fuel. If I’m out on a long bike ride, I re-hydrate with juiced watermelon and eat bars like LÄRABAR throughout my ride. The Cashew Cookie bar is one of my favorites. The best thing about LÄRABAR is that it’s only a few, simple ingredients like cashews and dates. Post meal is always bananas and juiced fruits.

JK: What are some common myths you dispel simply by being you?
DT: That you can’t be strong on a vegan diet. I’m actually stronger now that I am on a vegan diet than I was when I consumed animal products. In fact, my strength training has only improved.

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JK: What music gets you pumped? What ideas inspire you?
DT: It varies. Depending on the day or the mood. Sometimes I rock out to Tiesto and other times I crank up some Young Jeezy. I love all types of music. Kings of Leon is one of my favorite bands. As for what inspires me, people that work 9-5 jobs while competing as weekend warriors in marathons and other athletics inspire me! It is the very reason I formed IRON BRUKAL, which represents The Working Athlete.

JK: What’s something every guy should know?
DT: That compassion defines one’s intelligence with respect to all life itself.

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JK: What is something every guy can do right now to start getting healthier?
DT: Honestly, cutting out all meat from your diet is the first step in my opinion. Your children and grandchildren will thank you in the future when you are still living and able to play catch with them.

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Milk Your Nuts

by Paul Jarvis

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Hi there,

Let’s have a candid talk about milking nuts. Yes, it’s a running joke with myself and my ebook, but I talk about it because I care. Let me dispel some myths about making your own nut milk.

1. It’s easy. Takes me no more than 5 minutes start to finish. I put a bowl of almonds in water before I go to bed. In the morning I rinse them, blend with about 5-6x more water than nuts and strain them through a nut milk bag into a container. That’s it. I don’t bother adding anything else to it (do that later if you want, by adding: agave, maple syrup, vanilla, cacao, etc) and the whole process is over as fast as my coffee can percolate.

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Squeezing out my nut sack. Homemade hemp milk.

2. It’s cheap. Cheaper than buying a carton of soy or almond milk in the store. I buy bulk nuts online for about 60-70% less than stores sell them for. In Canada, I use realrawfood, and in the US you can even order large bags of organic nuts from Amazon (I’m sure there are other suppliers). I get almost 30 1.9L mason jars of nut milk per 5lb bag of almonds, which is what, less than $2 a jar? Better than the $5/carton I could pay for organic nut milk in the store. Hopefully you’ve got a blender. So your investment is a $10 nut milk bag (which lasts a very long time – mine’s still going after 3 years).

3. It’s better. I dare you to try the best “cartoned” nut milk against some you made yourself. Yours will have at most 3-4 real ingredients. The store-bought kind is full of preservatives and other long-words that don’t sound like food.

4. There’s no waste. Yes, cartons are recyclable, but they also need to manufactured, transported and recycled, then processed all over again. It’s kind of wasteful (recycling is the least useful ‘R’ in ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’). If you order big bags of nuts, you’re not using or creating a HUGE whack of packaging. The earth with french kiss your face for using less stuff.

5. It’s funny. Think of all the jokes (most of which I’ve used to death) you can use with your friends and co-workers about making your own nut milk each week. It doesn’t get old.

So go forth and start milking nuts! And leave your best jokes below.
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homemade granola with homemade nutmilk  

 

A Berry Manly Breakfast

I’m a guy that likes berries. Yes, they are pink and purple and red and really pretty, but who cares! There’s something sexy about them. They taste amazing, they are incredibly supple and healthy, and they make for a perfect breakfast when mixed with some nuts, seeds, dried fruit and non-dairy yogurt. I’ve been trying to start my weekdays with something a bit lighter to keep my engine running smoothly, and this regimen has me feeling great!

Pear Berry Breakfast

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):
As always, try to get as organic and local as possible.

  • • 6 large strawberries
  • • 2 pears
  • • 1/2 cup  raspberries
  • • 1/4 cup dried goji berries
  • • 1/4 yellow raisins
  • • 1/4 raw pistachios
  • • 1/4 raw cashews
  • • 1/2 cup unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. 1. Clean and then chop the pear into long pieces
  2. 2. Rinse the fresh berries and chop the strawberries
  3. 3. Add all ingredients to a bowl and gently mix.
  4. 4. Sprinkle cinnamon on a touch of vanilla on top, if desired.

Pumpkin Pockets with Smoky Seitan, Mushroom Mousse, & Braised Apple

I tested this recipe out for thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! It’s savory, handsome, and sophisticated. It will please vegans and non-vegans alike! Try it out at your Chrismahanukwanzarammada table!

Make these now!    ©TheDiscerningBrute.com

Make these now! ©TheDiscerningBrute.com

Continue reading below for the recipe! Read more…

Giving Thanks, and Leftovers

Marisa and David's Outrageous Kitchen. photo: lordjdavis.com

Last night was such an overwhelming food frenzy! There were more amazing dishes than I had room for on my plate or in my stomach. Last night was also a true testament to the fact that I really don’t miss any non-vegan foods! I’ll be posting the recipes for my two dishes,  in a couple of days: Smokey Seitan w/ Mushroom Mousse & Braised Apples in a Pumkin Butter Shell, & Pumpkin Pie Cookies!

photo: lordjdavis.com

I am really blessed to have such an amazing group of people in my life. I can’t tell you how revolutionary it is to be at an event overflowing with amazing drinks and food and conversation, and never have to worry once about the ingredients of anything, defending my choice to be an animal advocate, or losing interest in any conversation. From shoe designers, comic artists, TV personalities, and food-science artists – to organizers, fund-raising powerhouses, filmmakers, lifestyle experts, full-time animal rescuers, lawyers, wellness therapists and fashionistas – there was so much good karma in the room that I was high on it.

Pablo & Veronica brought their finest creations: raw, vegan, aged cheeses. Cashew Blue Cheese, Macadamia, Brazil Nut, Fennel Pollen, and 1 Year Aged Cashew Cheese were more than any cheese-lover could ask for.

Chloe's Roasted Roots, Ashely's Sweet or Savory Stuffing, & Marisa's Tofurky!

I made Smokey Seitan w/ Mushroom Mousse & Braised Apples in a Pumkin Butter Shell

I made Smokey Seitan w/ Mushroom Mousse & Braised Apples in a Pumkin Butter Shell

Marinated Seitan, and three kinds of String Beans! Photo: Lordjdavis.com

I also made Pumpkin Pie Cookies!

I also made Pumpkin Pie Cookies!

Salads & Roots. Photo: Lordjdavis.com

Pablo & Veronica's Raw Lasagna Terrine w/ Cashew Cream

Pablo & Veronica's Raw Lasagna Terrine w/ Cashew Cream